Director Dan Trachtenberg on creating the film’s Predator

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The Predator in a promotional poster for Hulu's Prey.

Image: 20th Century Studios/Hulu

Above various Predator movies, comics, games, fans have encountered many iterations of the cloaked alien hunter, and each of them has been a fearsome and bloodthirsty threat in its own way. The next Prey, coming out next week, turn the clock back to 1719 in the comanche nation, and his Predator is the oldest of the group. For director Dan Trachtenberg, the period served as a way to make the species of proven hunter to feel new again.

Talk to PolygonTrachtenberg explained how the goal with The prey Predator had to make it as terrifying as the original version was in 1987, hence the skull mask meant to evoke the alien’s now-iconic faceplate. Predators are always positioned as technologically superior to humans, and that continues here. Visual effects house StudioADI has crafted weapons that are both new to this Predator and similar enough to the gear its successors will use. “In key moments, it could still feel like a living, breathing thing,” Trachtenberg explained. The visual team, he added, augmented the Predator suit so that the hunter would appear superhuman and damn terrifying to Amber Midthunder’s Naru and the rest of his people. “You know he can still feel like he should as an alien creature.”

There have been great predators, and there have been missing ones, and it was important for this one to maintain the sense of dread and discovery that is key to the character. Played by actor Dane DiLiegro, this Yautja may be the first of its kind to land on Earth. The time period presented a clear challenge that all prequels face: to create a distinct version of an established character that also matches previous film incarnations. “I wanted him to feel much more like an alien creature than ever before…both older, but also much more advanced.” Even with the tech advantage, this Predator is more than willing to kill with some good old-fashioned melee violence. “It’s much more wild, ferocious, primitive and less armored,” he continued. “We wanted to change it more than it’s ever been changed before so it would be a new sight, a new thrill, even for die-hard fans of the franchise.”

Prey hits Hulu on August 5. Expect our thoughts on the film in the coming days.


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